Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hospital tour

We went for a quick tour of the hospital today. At least we now know where to actually go if we pitch up with me in labour.

The labour ward was WAY smaller than I expected. I have clearly watched too many American movies and British birth stories from One Born Every Minute. There are three delivery rooms in the whole place. They are great rooms, huge, and two of them have big baths because my hospital allows labouring in the bath and even allows water births. This is apparently quite rare in South African hospitals. I am hoping I get a room with a bath!

However, the fact that there are only three is freaking me out a bit. What if more than three women are in labour on the night I pitch up? Please, where do the other ladies go? Do we share? Oh the awkwardness of that visual.

It occurs to me that this is probably rarely an issue, as women in private hospitals in South Africa are not labouring and pushing out their babies, but are having C-sections. I did not get to see where they do those, but I am guessing it must be in a theatre that looks different to the delivery rooms. So maybe my fears are truly unfounded. It is kind of weird to think that three is a sufficient number of rooms. I guess after watching all the UK hospital documentaries I am used to seeing loads of delivery rooms and separate labouring rooms so that they can shuffle all the ladies in and out, and even phoning other hospitals when things get too full. Three seems so few.

I have met a fair few women here in Cape Town who are all hoping for natural birth. Many of them are going through my hospital which means that they are more likely to be successful. My entire antenatal class is full of women who want natural birth only. But if they are not going to my hospital then they will have a big fight on their hands. One of the ladies said that her doctor said something to her along the lines of, "if you really insist on having a natural birth..." like it was a real annoyance on his part. So yeah, the idea that South African middle class ladies are too posh to push is not fully accurate at all. But some of the doctors are clearly to posh to catch?

I just hope all the ladies are not queuing up with me around Christmas time to take turns in those three delivery rooms!

On that note, I think my baby is still breech, so maybe I should have been checking out the operating theatres after all.

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